In Michigan

My best friend got married yesterday. I came back to Michigan for her wedding because 1) she’s my best friend and 2) I was a bridesmaid! It was so nice to see my old friends from high school. We’ve been friends for so long and I’d been missing them a lot lately. And I’m so happy that Teresa and Tony finally ended up together after all those years of being friends.

Brad and Teresa – My two best friends in the entire world

Teresa and her husband, Tony

The rest of the high school gang: Brad, Ryan, Tony, Jeff and me

Overall, it was a cute American wedding. Teresa chose a fall color theme, so there were lots of pumpkins and leaves. There were five bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle before Teresa and her dad. (And our dresses are actually brown/chocolate/truffle even though they look purple in the photos). After the indoor pictures, the wedding party jumped in a hummer limo to take the outdoor pictures at a nature reserve. When we finally made it to the reception, I was starving, but since the wedding party eats first, it was ok. :)

After dinner, it was cutting the cake, the couples’ first dance, Teresa’s dance with her dad, and the wedding party dance… after which, I changed out of my bridesmaid dress because I couldn’t breathe in it. Then the bouquet toss, garter throw, dollar dance, hokey pokey, chicken dance, line dancing, etc. I finally made it home at 12:30 am and I was exhausted (and still jet-lagged!)

Normally, I hate weddings, but they’re a lot more fun when your friends get married and you are in the wedding! I’m glad I was able to come back to Michigan this weekend, even if it meant a long and tortuous flight as well as missing a few days of work.

I received an e-mail from the rectorat yesterday about my work, and apparently, they’re forbidding me from working anymore until I get the mess with my new carte de séjour figured out. ::sigh:: For some reason, they think that I entered France without a long stay visa and are telling me that I need to get one before I can work at my school again. Um, I have a long stay visa already and I made an appointment weeks ago at the prefecture to get my new carte de séjour (and they specifically told me that I do not need a new visa.) So I don’t know what’s going on, and I’m not even sure if I’m allowed to work this week when I get back to France. This is one part of France I am not missing right now…


I’ve survived a full week of work. Actually, I worked 4 days last week instead of the normal 3 since I didn’t work at all the first week of October. Teaching is easy and the students are fine, except for a few particular bad ones at the middle school… The only thing I don’t like […]

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Le Retour des Alpages

Alpine cow walking toward me. Today was the Retour des Alpages in Annecy. Every year in October, sheep, goats, and cows wearing huge bells are paraded through the over-crowded streets in Annecy to signify the end of the grazing season in the mountains. I missed out on this tourist attraction last year, so I was […]

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I hope I continue to like my work…

Tomorrow is my first full day at work. I’m going to arrive at 8 am and leave at 6 pm and I work 9-11am, 2-4pm, & 5-6pm. I’m really going to hate Tuesdays soon… I also work 2-5pm on Thursdays at the middle school and 10-11am & 2-4pm on Fridays at the high school. It’s […]

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Rugby World Cup

David has been watching the France vs. New Zealand (which I’m told is the best team, or is it South Africa?) rugby game for the past two hours. Apparently they just won. I have no idea what this means. But David says they are now in the semi-finals. I tried watching the last few minutes, […]

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Success! Again!

I would just like to say I’m sorry to everyone else in France who is having problems with their préfecture and getting/renewing their cartes de séjour. I went to pick up my new carte today, and it was very easy and painless. It expires when I thought it would, and I was also able to […]

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A little taste of Michigan

On Monday, the British English speaking teacher at my school asked if I could write or find a menu for a restaurant serving “typical American food.” I said sure, no problem… but then realized two seconds later that there is no typical American food. In the following class, I had a hard time answering the […]

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Nouvelle carte de séjour

I received notice from the préfecture that my new CDS is there! Except they’re closed on Wednesdays, so I can’t get it today. Of course. It should be a CDS visiteur that expires at the end of March. But we’ll see if they screwed that up… However, I need to do another changement du statut […]

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Sapeurs-Pompiers de Genève

The 118 Project. Swiss pompiers got fed up with so many people confusing their number (118) with the number for information (18something). They’ve been receiving about 20 calls a day for information instead of for fires. So they recorded a rap song and shot a music video to remind the Swiss that 118 is for […]

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The good and the bad.

I received my French driver’s license! David is going to start teaching me how to drive a manual car this weekend. I still need to learn French road signs and all that too. What is up with the weird priorité à droite with little side streets? Why don’t cars on the main road have the […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

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